Will Al Davis Make 2010 the Oakland Raiders' Year of Change?
A better question is: Is nearly a decade of suffering enough for the man that calls the shots to finally admit that his way is not working and that change needs to happen in order for greatness to return to this once powerful and feared franchise?
I mean, in all reality, how much time does he really have left? Does he want to go out with his team competing or depleting? Time will tell, and for all those that are sure this is impossible, it's not.
The reason? Timing. It's everything.
The fact that a young man just across the Bay, successful at his craft, a fan of Al Davis and vice versa, has recently taken a leave of absence just before the 2010 NFL Draft is not coincidence in my opinion. The change needed is around that corner.
Not his son; not anyone in-house that will make the same mistakes. Not someone that will cower at every word from Al, but a strong-willed, bright football mind that is outspoken and successful. He is also, if reports are true, a man that will not only disagree with Al but may also be given more authority than anyone ever has in the history of the team.
Ladies and gentlemen of Raider Nation, I present to you Scot McCloughan.
The history of the relationship goes back far, and it goes deep. McCloughan's dad Kent was a cornerback for the Raiders. To this day he remains on the payroll as a Raiders scout. The loyalty is there. Al is big on loyalty. McCloughan also has a brother Dave who worked for the Raiders.
If, and this is a big if, a conversation took place where Scot was told that he could become the GM for the Raiders, I don't believe that would be enough to sway him over from across the Bay.
Now if Al told him that he would have control to call his shots, albeit with Al's blessing on certain issues, I do believe that's a good enough reason to come back to the dark side—back where his brother worked, his dad still works and once played for, and for a team that is in desperate need of his expertise.
For those that doubt that this is going to happen I tell you, pray. Pray that we are that lucky—to Buddha or God or Allah or the trees or whatever it is you pray to. Pray.
Is this man a miracle maker? No. But if he comes on board, I can guarantee you that positions of need will be filled in the draft, moves will be made that make at least partial sense, and this team will be on the path back to the days of greatness.
It may start with a draft pick that makes sense, be it Rolando McClain at ILB or a trade to move up and get Ndamukong Suh or one of the many top-rated O-linemen. Not the guy that ran the fastest 40 or got a shot just because he was from USC and Al loves him some USC, as we all know.
This may be a big reach. I understand that—more than you know. I guess it's just a little too coincidental for me to just look at and not think something may be up.
Al gave us a great run. He managed to do some great things while in charge, but during these last 10 years it seems as though his plans were drawn up on an Etch-A-Sketch and approved by a group of monkeys at the zoo. They have made little to no sense.
Here is hoping that times change. With that, my dream scenario would play out as follows. As always, your opinions are appreciated, and GO RAIDERS!
Eighth pick is traded for the second pick. We give our first and Michael Bush to Detroit for their first and draft Suh out of Nebraska. Instant upgrade and impact to a below average D-line.
With the 40th pick we add some much-needed help to our ILB spot and choose Brandon Spikes. He had a killer junior year and an average senior year. Although some have him in the third or even fourth, others had him as high as the first last year.
The 69th pick is used for Brandon Carter OG/T (tweener). A monster with an unmatched work ethic and motor is put on the line to eat opposing D-linemen. Look him up if you don't know who he is.
The 85th pick is used for Joe McKnight, RB, USC. This guy has huge play potential and may not even last this long. He is projected in the second to fourth round range, and it allows us to add some talent and depth at the RB position.
The 103rd pick allows us to grab a speed rusher and third down specialist, Tyson Alualu, DE/DT out of Cal. Pull up the film and you will see a guy that looks solid. He could be a sleeper in a big way. Him along with Kamerion Wimbley and Tyvon Branch, sprinting up the middle applying pressure in passing situations, would cause problems for opposing offenses.
I won't go into the remaining picks, but if you see what this Raider fan's mindset is, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS! I know we need a top-notch OT in order to protect whoever is at QB, but we also need players to keep our offense on the field and give them as many chances as possible to put up points. Our D was on the field much too long this past season, and that has to change, and now.
Here is to hoping that either Al changes his ways or gives the youngster McCloughan the chance to work some magic.
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